x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Pedestrian confusion

Readers' letters also discuss the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Myanmar election and other topics.

Abu Dhabi's streets can be crossed safely, but pedestrians must make an effort, readers say. Ravindranath K / The National
Abu Dhabi's streets can be crossed safely, but pedestrians must make an effort, readers say. Ravindranath K / The National

In reference to the article on how jaywalkers are shunning the new pedestrian bridges (Jaywalkers shun new bridges as dodging traffic is 'faster', April 2), I thought I would share my recent experience.

I, along with several hundred others, was fined last week for jaywalking outside Abu Dhabi Mall. However I wasn't dodging traffic and running across a busy street, but crossing at the long-established pedestrian crossing outside the mall while the traffic signal was on red and the green man was illuminated.

But the police were insistent that the road crossing is for wheelchair-users only, and all able-bodied pedestrians should use the footbridge. Due to the uneven pavement heights and continuing road works, the crossing is impossible for a wheelchair user to safely navigate, rendering the crossing obsolete at best and downright dangerous at worst.

The zebra crossing has been in use by pedestrians for a couple of years and only suddenly now are we told that it is "illegal"?

What really irked me however is that the police, according to the policeman who issued my fine, are present and issuing fines for two hours per day only. Those who are fined are simply unlucky enough to have used the crossing at the time of the police presence.

At a time when we are all being urged to leave the car at home and get more exercise, it seems to me that we need more communication, more clarity and more consistency in enforcement if Abu Dhabi wants to develop its urban area into a pedestrian-friendly city.

Sarah Bartlett, Abu Dhabi

I'm amazed at how lazy people are, willing to risk getting mowed down by an SUV rather than climbing a flight of stairs to a pedestrian overpass.

My friend made a joke when we saw some people doing just this near the bus depot on Muroor Road: "I suppose," she said, "that those people who won't climb the stairs are probably on their way to the gym for exercise."

Linda Voice, Abu Dhabi

If people won't use the overpasses then perhaps the only solution is to seal up the holes that seem to exist in so many of the city's median fences. People will then have no choice but to climb the stairs.

Gary Strong, Abu Dhabi

Brotherhood in Egypt misleads

I had to laugh when I read the words of the former Egyptian MP Mona Makram Ebeid, who commented that the Muslim Brotherhood had "change[d] their minds" about running a candidate for president (Brotherhood 'forced' into running for president, April 2).

Change their minds? I find that very hard to believe. All over the world politicians, even new ones, say one thing before they get elected and another thing after.

There is a blunter term for this than "changing their minds".

VJ Methi, Dubai

We can relate to a scary health crisis

Jonathan Gornall's account of a near heart attack (One fitness enthusiast's heart attack near miss, April 2) outlined very well the ordeal patients go through, and the stress on family members.

My dad went through this just about two years back, and my world came tumbling down. I am ever grateful to see a survivor.

Naureen Kamal, Abu Dhabi

Myanmar's vote is a needed victory

Syu Kyi supporters toast election victory (April 2) was very good news for a nation not always accustomed to positive headlines.

After five decades, Myanmar has had a truly democratic election. This great victory for "The Lady" shows the faith in her of the people. I am confident she can deliver a better future to her nation.

K Ragavan, India


Safety demands evacuation plans

I never really understood the need for an evacuation plan until I had the misfortune of getting stuck in a debacle at the Reel Cinema - Dubai Mall on Sunday.

About 30 minutes into the movie a frantic cinema employee came storming into the theatre and made the following statement:"It's not safe, we all have to leave!"

I'm no safety expert, but I assume that standard emergency protocol in a cinema would be to at least stop the movie and turn on the lights before announcing a mandatory exodus.

The scene outside wasn't any better; people were unsure as to what they should do. And the cinema staff were just as surprised as we were. No one had any real information as to what happened.

I'm not sure how the evacuations went in the other theatre halls, but luckily it seemed like everyone got out OK and no one got hurt or trampled during the initial panic.

But incidents like this are a reminder that buildings everywhere should take a long hard look at their crisis management plans.

Robert Mikhael, Dubai